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A period of stability and growth – BrightRock’s needs-matched solutions deliver for clients and the bottom line

02 October 2023 BrightRock

BrightRock today gave an update on its business performance for the period to 30 June 2023. According to CEO, Schalk Malan, the first six months were a positive and significant period for the needs-matched insurer, positioning it strongly for continued future growth.

Among the highlights, Malan pointed to improvements in claims experience and lapse rates, a focus on client experience, improved new business growth and the successful finalisation of the Sanlam share transaction that was announced earlier this year. After the challenges of the pandemic, Malan says all indicators are of a positive return to growth and stability, positioning BrightRock strongly for the future.

Claims recovery coupled with new business growth
“At BrightRock, one of our key measures of success is our claims performance for our clients, and we are very proud that to date we’ve paid over R5.3 billion in claims, up from R4.6 million at the end of 2022. In terms of claims experience, we have seen a strong return to pre-COVID levels, with our current claims experience in fact looking slightly better than in 2019,” said Malan.

BrightRock has seen new business growth and better than expected lapse rates, with total cover in force growing to over R396 billion as at 30 June 2023 and API in force of over R2 billion. Malan says this is a testament to the value and efficiency of BrightRock’s needs-matched product offering.

Needs-matched features
Malan further highlights the performance of BrightRock’s unique and dynamic product solutions, which seek to precisely match clients’ needs when they first sign up for cover and keep pace with their changing needs over time. Not only do these features deliver value for clients, but they also add to the bottom line. In 2022, BrightRock clients were able to secure an additional R2.4 billion of additional cover free of medical underwriting through the extra cover buy-up. This automatically included feature, unique to BrightRock, allows clients to buy additional cover when their needs change without having to undergo medical tests, subject to certain provisions. This trend has increased in 2023 – for example, just in August, BrightRock saw cover bought using the extra cover buy-up facility contributing annualised premium income of R1.3 million, none of which required medical underwriting. On average, clients are buying additional cover with an average premium of over R700, an indicator that they are using the feature as intended to cover significant life changes. In financially tough times, this ability to add additional cover to keep up with their changing needs at an efficient price and without the hassle of medical tests is of particular value, says Malan.

Sanlam partnership
Speaking of the recent share transaction, which saw Sanlam increasing its BrightRock shareholding to 100%, Malan was optimistic about what it would mean for BrightRock’s future. “Sanlam has been an incredible growth partner to BrightRock, and we’re very excited about the opportunities created by this strengthening of this partnership.” BrightRock operates as a separate business from Sanlam, with its own brand, product offering, and management team and Malan says with Sanlam’s strong support, the foundation has been laid for BrightRock to continue growing in the independent intermediated market where it offers individual risk protection products and funeral insurance products.

Malan concluded: “We’re excited to see what we can achieve together as continue building on this partnership. At BrightRock, as we’ve always been, we’re focused on our clients and their advisers, and on the future. We’re driving hard to keep on meeting people’s needs, to keep paying claims and to continually improving our product and service delivery to clients. If we keep doing that, there’s no doubt – the future looks bright!”

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